Stupid whelp. Did he really think he was going to trot in here with the big dogs, have himself a drink, win himself a fight?
Against Dakota, no less. Maybe not the fastest, but sure and hell the meanest. Gotta say, the boy never tucked tail. Too dumb, maybe too desperate, to be scared.
Kind of kid would fit right in my pack.
’Specially now Dakota’s dead.
Least I got Dakota’s coat. Always liked that fringe. I let the boys fight over his other stuff. They didn’t take too happy to me bringing the kid to my room. Let ’em whine. I know what I got here. And I ain’t sharing.
Got him in my bed, dosed to the gills with tequila, got his clothes off, his wound patched. Younger than I even thought.
I like that.
He’s a pretty little thing. I run my hand down his chest, lingering over some old scars. Had a rough life. That’s a help.
Out cold. If I’d known how young he was, how damn skinny, I’d of given him less tequila. I want him awares, least sort of.
Kid that skinny’s hungry. Do just about anything for a meal or a buck. Hell, the way he looked like the world was kicking him, likely do anything just for a pat on the head.
I like that too.
Stray like that’s grateful to do whatever you ask him. Be my fetching dog, sit up and beg, wag his tail in thanks. Atta boy. My own trained lapdog. Never turn on me no matter what. That’s the beauty, throw a bone to a starving pup, you can trust it to stay loyal as an old hound.
Just train him up right, take it slow and easy. He’ll end up thinking I’m some sort of god, thanking me for saving his worthless hide.
Looks like he’s stirring. Good boy. I pull my hand back, pull up his sheet, pat his head. Don’t want to scare him. Right now I gotta build his trust. Damn, those blue eyes are something, make my breath hitch in.
He’s licking them pretty lips, mouthing something. Take your time, boy, take your time. Asking where he is, who I am.
“You’re home, boy.” I put on my best smile, the one I give stray dogs right before I shoot ’em. “We weren’t proper introduced. Name’s Pardee. Day Pardee.”